Friday, November 5, 2010

Winchester and Sedaris: Reading Near You!

Mark your calendars and then flip a coin: there are two big name writers coming to HRM in November: both on Wednesday the 24th at 7pm.

First up, at the Keshen Goodman Library in Clayton Park, bestselling author Simon Winchester reads from his newest book Atlantic: great sea battles, heroic discoveries, Titanic storms, and a vast ocean of a million stories.

A British author based now in the US, Winchester is well known for his well researched books that tell stories of history and travel in thoughtful prose. Far from the dusty tomes you might associate with history books from school, Winchester has taken the stories of our past and brought them to modern audiences with flair. Books like The Professor and the Madman (about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary) and Krakatoa (about the 1883 eruption of the Indonesian volcano) have been bestsellers and book club favourites. Winchester's new book is described as a biography of the Atlantic ocean.

On the same night, writer, radio personality and all-round funny guy David Sedaris will be reading in Dartmouth. According to listings on the website of Sedaris' agent and the website of book seller Chapters, Sedaris will be appearing at the Chapters location at Mic Mac Mall for "an evening of readings and a book signing to celebrate the release of his new book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: a modest bestiary."

Released in late September, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, like Sedaris' previous books, is a series of short, humourous tales: but unlike the stories that make up most of Sedaris' previous writing, these ones aren't about his own life and (mis)adventures. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is a collection of stories with animals at their centre—fables that offer commentaries on modern life. From the publisher: "In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members."

Sedaris has long been a favourite here at The Readeruse the search box at the top of the screen to find some of our past posts about him: including Maureen's review of his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and his inclusion in our occasional feature Six Degrees of the Library Collection.

There are a lot other great author readings happening in Halifax this month. Stay posted to the Reader for details of some of the author readings happening at the library. Or check the programs page of the library website (use the categories drop box to select author readings from the programs options).

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